The Giants threw an orange-and-black party. At Civic Center Plaza, thousands of fans in Giants' colors packed together to celebrate this season, this World Series, this championship. All those fans in one place in orange and black looked like Halloween gone global.
On big screens in front of City Hall, they watched the Giants' motorcade starting at the Ferry Building and moving along Market Street, listened to Greg Papa and Bill Laskey and Vida Blue narrate and analyze and reminisce in serious TV voices. The three of them sounded like Walter Cronkite at a satellite launch or a royal wedding.
In its way, this Giants' bash was like a space launch or a royal wedding. The Giants are our royalty, have brought Northern California together in victory, brought us together for a good thing. We often get together, it seems, because of tragedy. Not this time.
If you'll permit me a moment to reflect, I have one more serious thought to add and then I'll describe the big party. I have come to think sports, for us, is a secular religion. I don't mean it replaces religion. Nothing like that. But people — those orange-and-black Giants fans — find deep meaning in the Giants and even experience, I believe, something spiritual. So, that's what the 2012 Giants mean and that's what they have caused.
While fans at City Hall waited for the Giants, people stood on top of the marquee in front of Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and people leaned out windows from City Hall and everyone was looking, gazing really, and experiencing the moment. And everyone realized this moment is rare and fleeting because baseball and life change fast. And everyone cherished the moment.
Jim Harbaugh was driving Brandon Belt's car — the Beltmobile — and Alex Smith was driving Matt Cain, and the Say Hey Kid was in a car and Stretch was in another and Bruce Bochy rode in the back of a Rolls clutching the World Series Trophy like it was the source of life — and maybe it is.